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Don't read "Firefly Lane"!
I thought it was boring, plodding, predicatble, torturous, and never-ending. Even though I was growing up at about the same time as Kate and Tully, I did not find their characters really spoke to me.
It was as great a book as reading angsty, dramatic young adult fiction coupled with a romance novel.
I believe it was the worst book I've read in quite some time. It's too bad some of the people in my book group thought this was a good choice.
Firefly Lane, by Kristin Hannah, RATING: VERY GOOD
Firefly Lane is the story of two girls who become best friends. It starts out in the 70s and follows the friends through high school, college and on into their adult lives.
How was that for a bland and vague summary of the book? Don't worry, Firefly Lane is by no means bland or vague. I wanted the summary to be impartial, and not give too much of the plot away. Plus, I didn't want to use up all my thoughts right at the get-go. I may only have a limited supply, after all.
Firefly Lane is a book for girls/women. In fact, if you are female, there is a very good chance you have lived parts of this book and that is doubly true if you are a member of Generation X. Our two main characters, Tully and Katie spend their formative years in the 1970s and then hit college in the 1980s. (I actually calculated out that they were about 3 years older than I, ...as if they were real people.)
I really liked this book for two reasons. One is that Kristin Hannah understands the dynamics of female friendships and all of the emotional baggage that goes along with them. She describes situations and feelings in such a way that as I read through those passages, I would automatically access similar feelings and experiences from my own past, both positive and negative. Like, I could relate.
The second reason is that, for me, the book is what one would call a "blast from the past". Yup, that's right, you get to relive those glorious decades, the '70s and '80s, big hair and all. It'll make you giggle.
But, I have to warn you, Firefly Lane can be a tear jerker at times, so be careful about taking it to the cafe to read or other public places where you might feel a bit silly if you start blubbering.
All and all, a very good read.
My Mother's Review:
The first thing to know about Kristen Hannah's FIREFLY LANE is that it is definitely a "good read". If it doesn't make you cry (three time Kleenex time, for me), you've never been a mother. And from a grandmother's perspective, it's even better. Two generations of teen-age daughters versus mother's good and faultless intentions (no bias here).
This book might make mothers more patient, and teen-age readers more forgiving. It's about a thirty year friendship that begins between two potential teen-age losers who because of their friendship are healed and become successful. Katie marries and has a perfect family life; Tully reaches her dreamed of television stardom. To spice things up, there are some features of the usual romance novel: the men are super-gorgeous, so are the main female characters; the incredible rise of Tully to superstardom from poverty and family depravity. Lots of clothing and fashion, too... It seems every bit of clothing has to be described painstakingly. Interesting point-- teenagers wore lots of midriff showing, and jeans, jeans, jeans --in teen years they had to be low enough to show the "crack"--even back in the 70's.
Some mothers might find the description of a typical "stay-at-home mother" as a little over the top, but the author seems to need to give Katie credit for HER job. And finally the verbal exchanges between the two are funny.
RETRO HOUSEWIFE, 2008-04-11
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